Gun Media has announced that because of a legal battle over the rights to the franchise, development of new content for Friday the 13th: The Game has been put on hold. The trouble is rooted in an ongoing dispute between Victor Miller, the writer of the original film, and Sean Cunningham, the producer and director of the film and current rights holder.
As the Hollywood Reporter explained last year, Miller is attempting to reclaim his right to the property under a provision of US copyright law, while Cunningham says that the concept, creative direction, and financing of the film all came from him, and that Miller wrote it as work-for-hire and thus has no legitimate claim to it. And while that dispute works itself out, Gun Media said in a statement sent to 1428 Elm that it has no choice but to hit the pause button on future Friday the 13th game development.
"We’ve now been forced to accept that the lawsuit makes future content for the game, including alternate play modes, new playable Jasons and Counselors, and new maps, unfeasible now or in the future. Although the listed content types will be affected, we remain committed to launching dedicated servers on our console platforms and providing the continued maintenance and bug fixing important to supporting our fan base," it said.
"So what does this mean exactly? There will be no additional content added to Friday the 13th: The Game. This includes 'Uber Jason', The Grendel Map, Jason Kill Packs, Clothing, Emotes and new Counselors."
The statement makes no mention of what about the legal situation has changed to spur this sudden postponement, but Miller's claim on Friday the 13th goes all the way back to June 2016 and so it could be simply the apparent endlessness of the whole thing that drove Gun Media to finally throw in the towel. It's possible that new content creation will resume if and when the legal battle over the game has been resolved, but the Gun Media statement has a certain ring of finality to it—if nothing else, you probably don't want to hold your breath while you wait. I've emailed the company for more information and will update if I receive a reply.